Inspired by Matthew 23:37-24:14
“And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold.” Matthew 24:12 (NRSV)
We know that God desires us to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with him. Many of us do our best to fulfill that desire and live according to those principles. But many more people in the world don’t, and the results of their actions frequently overshadow the results of ours. Injustice is common, apathy and even cruelty towards other people is rewarded, and humility is mocked. Lawlessness grows, and it feels as though all our efforts at showing God’s love in the world are being wasted. We want to see some positive results from our hard work, but instead we suffer even more hardship because of it. Under these circumstances it’s no wonder that so many people give up, conclude that God either doesn’t exist or doesn’t care, and cease to follow him.
However grieved we are by the pain and suffering that the people of the world inflict upon themselves and each other, God is even more grieved. Because he does desire us to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with him—not for his own sake, but for ours. Such principles help ensure the health, dignity, and wellbeing of all people, and that is what God desires for us. When we choose to go our own way and hurt other people in the process, God is deeply grieved.
Do not be discouraged by the folly of the world. Even when we can’t see anything positive happening because of our efforts, we can rest assured that we are indeed making a difference. Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God not because the world rewards such actions (it doesn’t), but because the world needs such actions.
Let us pray. Tender Lord, you desire all people live with justice, dignity, and peace. Grant us perseverance, that we may not lose our resolve in the face of such strong resistance to your mercy. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.